10 Tips for Postcard Marketing Success

With all the emphasis on digital marketing these days, a few tried-and-true methods get forgotten. Postcards are one of them, but they are experiencing a revival as business owners re-discover their powerful charms to deliver results.

Postcards are a simple, low-cost sales tool that’s easier to use than ever thanks to websites that offer turnkey postcard marketing services. These princely printed pieces pack a powerful punch for millions of small and local businesses. Even big companies and major universities are using colorful and often over-sized postcards to push their products, services, offers and brands.

The lowly postcard has taken on new prominence as a kind of “anti-digital” agent.  People are paying more attention than ever to postcards they receive in the mail, and are responding to offers at high rates.  Postcards have a higher “read rate” than other direct mail because they are easier to read at a glance and there’s no envelope to open.

You can quickly create a postcard campaign without a big investment in time or money. And getting your postcards printed and mailed to either your own mailing list or one you buy is a snap with one of the web-based services.  Many companies compete for your business, so rates are highly competitive and you can get your cards printed and mailed in a few days.

10 ways to get the most from a postcard marketing effort:

1.    Plan ahead and create a specific purpose for your postcard campaign – as big an idea as possible to grab people’s attention. Build value into your message and don’t be boring.

2.    Postcards should be eye-catching, so be sure to include high-quality photos or other striking images, graphics and colors.

3.    Postcards can say a lot – especially the over-sized variety — but try to keep your message simple. It’s still a postcard, after all, not a novel. Pretend that every word you write is costing you an extra $100.

4.    Short, bold headlines work best. Avoid jumbled information. Postcards work best for short messages and for generating leads (not closing sales). Don’t try to explain everything, and be sure to include multiple ways to contact you.

5.    Postcards are great for carrying timely messages, so think in timely terms. For example, postcards can convey messages or offers with a deadline, or customer reminders (your service contract expires in 30 days!).

6.    There are two sides to every postcard, so make the most of them both. The non-address side should have the biggest, boldest photos and colors. Think of it as a poster. The other side should carry your offer, contact information and other details.

7.    Think multi-faceted.  Postcards can be used for many purposes, including reminders, gift certificates, coupons, new product announcements, openings, discounts and even as tickets.

8.    Go for high-quality, full-color, glossy printing. These have the most impact.  All postcard marketing services offer this, and improve technology has brought down costs.

9.    Oversized cards – often 6×11 – stand out in the mail and are a great choice. They also give you more ways to include photos, coupons and even a map to your location.

10. Encourage quick action. Give customers a good reason to act now, perhaps a fast action bonus with a deadline.

Templates make do-it-yourself postcards possible, but taping the postcard pros online is quick and easy.

Some services to consider:

Zairmail is a popular service that lets you easily create and send marketing postcards (and other direct mail) right from your computer. Zairmail offers mailing lists as well as postcard templates for specific businesses such as real estate, insurance and others.

VistaPrint, the all-purpose online print ship, offers a wide range of postcards and postcard marketing services. Other good services to consider include PostcardMania, ModernPostcard and PostcardServices.

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Filed Under: Marketing

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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.

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  1. This is an excellent article. We are always looking for ways to improve our post card mailings and keeping things simple makes lots of sense. Thanks!

  2. Hi Daniel,
    Thanks so much for this post and for sharing it with the BizSugar community. I think businesses often underrate more conventional marketing channels in a digital age, but it’s important not to forget the many marketing tools at your disposal. The most important consideration is to choose a marketing option that best reaches the customers you need to communicate with.

  3. Here is the thing about postcard marketing: the greatest costs when it comes to setting up your mailing list. Whereas with other kinds of marketing the greatest time and costs come with the actual design phase

  4. Great tips here Daniel. I also agree with Heather’s point, conventional methods are overlooked. Postcards are a great way to give customers a tangible connection to your business. and you can get some great looking ones as well!

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